Backwards and Forwards …

I’m just taking a breather from going through box after box of my late parent’s ‘stuff’ which has been living in our well-named ‘box-room’ for the last few years.

I’m extremely fortunate that my father had a huge interest in photography whilst Mother was big into writing.  So, it’s like having a family, as well as a social,  history in words and pictures at my finger tips.

I was more than surprised to find a little note that I wrote to Mother when I was about six. It’s written on what looks like the middle pages of a small note book and and has Mama on the outside. Here’s the note itself:

I know I was about six because of the reference to Frecky, or Freckles, who was one of a litter of pups that our lovely Dalmation, Beauty, had when I was that age.  The arrival and departure of those puppies was one of the biggest events of my childhood.

Not long after finding this note to Mother, I came upon a photograph that Father took of me on the wooden swing that was just beside the  cobbled yard where the pups played.  We were living in Castleblayney, Co. Monaghan,  in the first Bank House of our family life.

They were happy, happy days and I can’t but smile at how I seemed to see twenty as being an absolute age away. I suppose it was, in many respects. Twenty certainly seems like a good while back now, though!!

I wonder if  Mother even contemplated the possibility that I would find the note all these years on. I’m just so glad that she did my bidding and kept it.

Happy Me, Aged 5 Photo: Frank Tubridy
Happy Me, Aged 6
Photo: Frank Tubridy



The Rim of the World

I had a Prof once who was bright, funny, generous and wise. He had a very  good grasp of life in both theory and practice.

His advice for when times got rough was to: Get yourself out  onto the rim of the world and weather the storm from there. 

Being on the rim of the world lends perspective and opens up all sorts of new angles on things.

As I would climb out the window of  life, I invariably found myself on a chair-o-plane flying round and round with childish excitement.  Chair-o-planes were forbidden fruit in my youth as my father had a vision of the whizzing apparatus spinning so fast that we’d be catapulted to kingdom come.


The thing is: can you be on the rim of the world without at least a hint of danger?  It’s all about balance, in every respect, and knowing the tipping point.

The garden swing had quite an element of the rim of the world about itWind flying through flowing hair, legs propelling the seat to go higher and higher, ropes creaking, carving out magical angles and giving  Over the Top a meaning that could and would never be forgotten.